About the Teacher of Peace Award

What is our purpose in choosing a ‘Teacher of Peace’? We began this tradition at the recommendation of Fr. Steve Bossi, CSP, with the award to Sr. Mary Alban, CSJ, in 2013. In selecting a Pax Christi Toronto teacher of peace each year, we demonstrate that peacebuilding is important, and we actively promote the idea of peace. We recognize a person who, in our experience, shows outstanding witness in seeking nonviolent solutions to conflict. We try to choose someone ‘not as well known’, and whose ‘story should be told’. Teachers of peace show us through their actions how to address issues of justice and peace in our communities and with our government. They enable all of us to take responsibility for seeking nonviolent solutions to conflict.

‘Teacher of Peace’ Recipient 2023

Leonard Desroches

This year’s Teacher of Peace Award was presented to Leonard Desroches at Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto, for his lifelong commitment to active nonviolence in peacebuilding and communication of the life of nonviolence and love. Pictured here with Len (centre) are previous Teacher of Peace recipients: Sr. Mary-Ellen Francoeur and Fr. Bob Holmes.

Previous ‘Teacher of Peace’ Recipients

Pax Christi Toronto ‘Teacher of Peace’ Award 2013

Pax Christi Toronto has awarded to Sister Mary Alban Bouchard, csj as ‘Teacher of Peace’, in recognition of her lifetime achievement of dedicated commitment to world leadership in both Canada and Haiti for the cause of Peace on Earth. 

The Teacher of Peace Award – granted in line with the tradition of Pax Christi International – was presented to Sister Mary Alban on 28 August 2013 in her room at the Infirmary of the new St Joseph Residence in Toronto Canada.

Inspired by Sr. Mary Alban’s leadership and determination, Pax Christi Toronto worked with the Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Commemoration committee to re-establish the Peace Garden in Nathan Phillips Square at Toronto City Hall. In recognition of her tireless work in establishing Pax Christi in Canada, and her many years teaching in Haiti and in enabling her students to establish a written language, Sr. Mary Alban Bouchard was named Pax Christi Teacher of Peace in 2013. https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/thornhill-on/sister-alban-bouchard-9060679

Pax Christi Toronto ‘Teacher of Peace’ Award 2014

Fr. Bob Holmes of Christian Peacemaker Teams, Campaign Nonviolence, and Camp Micah, has provided inspiration, expertise and enthusiasm for each PCT Peace Walk since we began to make this an annual event. In recognition of his ongoing active witness for nonviolent solutions to conflict, and his outstanding peace work with youth, Fr. Bob was named Pax Christi Teacher of Peace in 2014. https://coat.ncf.ca/our_magazine/links/issue41/articles/removing_the_sword_from_the_cross.htm https://basilian.org/en/peace-walk-marks-international-day-of-peace/

Pax Christi Toronto ‘Teacher of Peace’ Award 2015

Observing that we have a ‘department of war’ i.e. Ministry of National Defence, Senator Douglas Roche has drawn up a detailed proposal for a Canadian Department of Peace. Senator Douglas Roche, diplomat, peace activist and author of 22 books including The Human Right to Peace was named Pax Christi Ambassador of Peace in 2015. https://www.thesimonsfoundation.ca/peace-leaders/hon-douglas-roche-oc

Pax Christi Toronto ‘Teacher of Peace’ Award 2016

In 2016, Sr. Mary-Ellen Francoeur joined the KAIROS Women of Courage delegation to Democratic Republic of the Congo to understand, support and empower women and their communities impacted by the violence of war, poverty and the international mining industry. She and the other participants returned to Canada to share their experiences and invite advocacy for the Congo, including the need for accountability of Canadian mining companies and for conflict-free minerals. Sr. Mary-Ellen Francoeur was named Pax Christi Teacher of Peace in 2016. Read more.

Pax Christi Toronto ‘Teacher of Peace’ Award 2017

2017 – Sr. Priscilla Solomon CSJ is the 2017 Recipient of Pax Christi Teacher of Peace for her work in Faith and Justice Ministry – focuses on Indigenous rights, ecological justice, human rights trafficking and poverty issues.  Most especially, Indigenous rights – healing and reconciliation between Indigenous Peoples and Settler Peoples in Canada, member of “Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle” a Coalition to restore peaceful right relations and address the TRC recommendations. https://www.kairoscanada.org/people/sister-priscilla-solomon

Pax Christi Toronto ‘Teacher of Peace’ Award 2018

2018 – Dwyer Sullivan, was Basilian for 15 years and taught in Windsor, Houston, Kitchener and Toronto.  Dwyer earned a Ph.D. in Youth Ministry, was Director of Youth Corps, a Catholic leadership program inspiring youth to create communities of justice and compassion in their parishes and schools.  In Kitchener, he began the Educators for Justice (E4J) to initiate, support and promote nonviolent peace and justice activities for yuth.  He organized and led trips to Ft. Benning, George to join the School of the Americas Watch vigil and each year organizes a week-long trip o visit the Catholic Worker community in Washington DC taking active part in their vigils at the White House and Pentagon.  He is founding Director of Camp Micah which inspires youth leadership for peace and justice. https://kingston.peacequest.ca/150-canadians-day-134-dwyer-sullivan/

Pax Christi Toronto ‘Teacher of Peace’ Award 2019

2019 – Rev. Fr. Paul Hansen C.Ss.R is a Redemptorist priest who has spent most of his life working for Biblical Justice. A former member of the Church’s Ecumenical Coalitions seeking justice, Fr. Paul became chair of the Board of KAIROS after returning from a seven year stint in Rome leading his Order’s commitment to Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation. Fr. Paul is on the Social Affairs Commission of the Ontario Bishops, an Executive member of ISARC – Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition, and on the Board of the Human Development Foundation Mercy Centre Bangkok, Thailand. Paul is President of CAIF, Canadian Alternative Investment Foundation, providing financing solutions for charities that serve marginalized and economically disadvantaged populations. He is a fearless and creative advocate for disadvantaged, marginalized and oppressed people. He demonstrates international leadership on Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, and national leadership in KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives. https://www.catholicregister.org/item/30241-fr-paul-hansen-being-honoured-with-pax-christi-award

Pax Christi Toronto ‘Teacher of Peace’ Award 2021

2021 –  Kehkashan Basu, founder of Green Hope Foundation, challenged youth and others to focus on the common good.  Recognizing the serious damage being done to plants and all living things she articulated her commitment to care for the environment.  Through her initiatives, she continues to call youth and supporters to take concrete action to effect meaningful change and to recognize their responsibility to heal the world.  She is recognized for her wise, committed and steadfast moral leadership as a voice of and for youth on the international stage and for inspiring a Culture of Peace and transformation. https://www.thegreenhopefoundation.org/  

Pax Christi Toronto ‘Teacher of Peace’ Award 2022

2022 –  Camp Micah Youth and Staff were awarded the 2022 Teacher of Peace Award for exemplary and ongoing commitment to peacebuilding and leadership for Peace and Justice.  Camp Micah Youth and Staff are actively engaged in an annual summer camp experience where the principles of compassion and active non-violence are taught in a peaceful and welcoming environment. They take their guidance from biblical teachings to “Love Tenderly, Act Justly and Walk Humbly with your God” https://www.campmicah.ca/